by B.B. Pelletier
And, now, for something completely new, let’s look at Mendoza’s .22 caliber RM 2000 repeating spring-piston rifle. That’s right, this one’s a repeater! The rifle I tested was in .22 caliber, which should excite all you hunters.
The RM 2000 is a large air rifle that’s close to fully ambidextrous.
The RM 2000 is a large and powerful breakbarrel rifle. It’s 45.5″ long, with an 18.5″ barrel (including the muzzlebrake). The rifle weighs 7.7 lbs. and feels big in your hands. Cocking effort is about 38 lbs. The stock is hardwood stained a medium dark brown with no checkering. The black buttpad is solid rubber and very grippy. This rifle could easily be used by a lefthanded shooter because the safety has bars on both sides of the action and the stock shape is not radical. However, the low cheekpiece is on the left side only.
The sights on this rifle are something to talk about. It comes with a hooded front square post that’s also fiberoptic and a wonderful micrometer open rear sight that has beautiful, crisp target adjustment knobs. This rear sight unit would be a $50-60 sight by itself, but it comes mounted on the rifle! It also has fiberoptic inserts for use with the front sight; but, under low light conditions, the notch is as sharp as anyone could hope for.
Rear sight is a high-quality, click-adjustable micrometer open sight with target knobs.
A tubular magazine atop the receiver feeds pellets into a sliding shuttle for the repeating function. It’s a linear feed, meaning the nose of one pellet is pushed into the skirt of the one in front of it, so pellet shapes are critical. Mendoza does make special ammunition for all their magazine rifles in both calibers, but I did not have any on hand to test. So, I simply loaded .22 caliber Crosman Premiers into the magazine tube, and they worked flawlessly! I don’t see why you would need to purchase special pellets. Even .22 caliber Benjamin Sheridan diabolos will work. The .22 caliber Premier hollowpoints should also work.
The magazine tube lays close to the spring cylinder. Silver sticker advises to use Mendoza 2000 express ammo only, but I learned that Crosman Premiers work perfectly.
Pellets are inserted into the magazine through this hole, once the spring-loaded follower is locked out of the way. The length of the hole limits what can be loaded, so you don’t jam pellets in the loading shuttle.
If you don’t want to use the magazine, just load pellets directly into the barrel the same as any other single-shot breakbarrel rifle.
I mounted a Leapers Bug Buster 2 on medium mounts for some preliminary testing and learned that the magazine cannot be loaded with this scope/mount combination on the gun. The follower hits the scope before the pellet loading hole is opened. That was okay because I didn’t use the magazine for accuracy testing; but, if you want a full-time repeater, remember to order a higher scope mount and a not-too-large objective bell. A 32mm objective is probably as large as you want to go with high mounts.
How the repeating function works
A loading shuttle rises when the barrel is broken open. It aligns with the magazine tube and a pellet is pushed in. The length of the pellet is important so the shuttle doesn’t jam when it moves downward again. This is the same way a Career 707 loads, except from the side instead of the top. When the barrel returns to battery, a forked plate pushes the shuttle down into alignment with the closed barrel. The shuttle is also the breech.
This picture shows how the shuttle, or breech, moves up to accept the next pellet and then back down for firing.
The remainder of the RM 2000′s attributes are much like those we saw on the RM 200. The same two-part trigger controls the first and second stages, and I must say I am warming to this idea a lot. It gives an absolutely positive indication of where the second stage begins, and the pull is very light and even. This rifle has the same clever piston-seal oil hole as the 200.
Make no mistake, this is a much larger, more powerful rifle than the 200. This is one to consider if you want to hunt.